The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Size does matter

    In just four days, retail stores will be abuzz with activity as the annual day-after-Thanksgiving craze draws shoppers looking to get an early start on their holiday shopping.

    If buying for a college student, many will stop in the electronic section, where constant upgrades and newer versions doesn’t seem to stop the cash flowing from consumers’ pockets.

    And many of these products keep getting smaller.

    The recently released iPod shuffle, for example, is $79 and exactly 1.62 inches long and about one half ounce in weight, smaller than almost anything else out there.

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    According to The Apple Store Web site, it can hold up to 240 songs and has good battery life, lasting up to 12 hours.

    It also comes with a built-in clip to attach to clothes.

    Senior Anthony Tran said he thinks as long as people keep buying the new products, companies will keep coming out with new ones.

    “People are always looking for the newest and smallest things,” Tran said. “It’s hard to buy stuff sometimes when it’s just going to be obsolete in three months.”

    Tran said he was looking to buy a cell phone that could play mp3s, thus negating the need for a portable mp3 player.

    “It’s less stuff to carry around,” he said.

    The iPod nano, another newer Apple product, is advertised as “sleek” and “lightweight.”

    It costs $199 and can hold more than just music, including up to 25,000 photos.

    Senior Melissa Lauber owns an iPod nano, and said she bought it after her portable CD player broke.

    She said she like it because it can store all of her albums, instead of just playing one like a Discman does.

    Senior David Koslov, however, said he hasn’t bought an iPod because of the high cost.
    iPods generally run between $250 and $350, according to

    Koslov said he understands why the trend favors smaller units.

    “It seems to be more efficient,” Koslov said. “I would just be worried about losing it.”

    Lauber said she has noticed people looking for smaller-sized cameras.

    “They already have digital cameras, they just want smaller ones,” she said.

    In addition to the portable mp3 players, Sony and Nintendo rolled out its new holiday season products over the weekend to consumers who were eager to buy.

    Playstation 3 went on sale Friday in limited supply, as Sony was expected to release just 400,000 in the United States.

    In Eau Claire, residents started lining up as early as Wednesday afternoon in the hopes of buying the new game console. Many went home disappointed as the store had only 10 to sell.

    There was no violence in Eau Claire but the same cannot be said for other places around the state and nation. Customers at a Milwaukee-area Wal-Mart stampeded and at least one person was injured, according to news reports.

    Thanks to eBay, however, those that walked away empty-handed can still buy one – at a very steep price. The retail price is $499 and $599, but the units were selling at several thousand dollars over the weekend.

    Nintendo also released its latest game console Wii (pronounced “we”) this weekend, though the hype has been much quieter compared to the PS3. Wii is the cheapest of the three game consoles at $250. Microsoft’s Xbox 360, released earlier this year, tops out at $400.

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